Many people have been told that iodine is not safe for Hashimoto's. As result, people may be avoiding a vital nutrient which could potentially help them. When used in the right way and under the supervision of a knowledgeable medical practitioner, iodine may be an important part of the Hashimoto patient's tool kit.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is a condition where the immune system attacks enzymes within the thyroid gland which can impair function and damage thyroid cells. Here is what you need to know and why this one nutrient could be the missing piece.
"I'm Hashimoto's in remission. Selenium definitely helped, as did optimising my vitamin D levels.... Been on the Iodine protocol over 4 years now. You'll love the stuff. The sooner you get started, the sooner you'll be in remission. I think some people get confused about post-scarcity effect / symptoms... You WILL experience a sore throat/swelling, but follow the protocol/boosters/detox properly and it passes" -- Cheri V.
Within the medical community and among experts there are many who disagree about the use of iodine for Hashimoto's. According to some experts, including Chris Kresser and Dr. David Clark, iodine is not safe for Hashimoto's. While other medical experts including the Iodine Protocol doctors -- Dr. Guy Abraham, Dr. Jorge Flechas and Dr. David Browenstein -- have used iodine therapy effectively for treating patients. The critical piece in their success was knowing how to use iodine the right way.
Author, advocate, and founder of Stop the Thyroid Madness, Janie A. Bowthorpe, M.Ed said: "...having seen enough Hashi's patients report that iodine use outright lowered their antibodies, I'm a strong proponent of it. The only exception I take, based on observations, is that some Hashi's patients need to go LOW and SLOW with iodine use."
Iodine and Hashimoto's Treatment
One might ask, why do some experts oppose iodine for Hashimoto's treatment, while others use it effectively? The missing piece between iodine therapy and Hashimoto's treatment appears to be the use of selenium.
According to one study, in the presence of selenium deficiency, Chen et. al (2007) demonstrated that iodine increased the levels of circulating lymphocytes, which may enhance an immune attack including autoimmune attacks. However, the scientists found that providing extra selenium, as well as the iodine, totally reversed this autoimmune attack trend, and allowed the subjects to consume iodine at high levels without altering the immune parameters.(1) This meant patients received all the benefits of iodine, but none of the problems. (2)
"I have Hashimoto's and have been on the iodine protocol for almost 7 years. One of the things I noticed is that my knees didn't bother me any more. These days I take a fairly large maintenance dose--75mg/day (plus all the supplements). Every time I have tried to decrease it, I get achy knees again." -- Cheryl B.
According to top British Practitioner, Marek Doyle has used high dose iodine successfully in his practice treating countless individuals, including patients with Hashimoto’s since 2008. In combination with high dose iodine, Doyle always includes selenium and sea salt -- and in some cases, increased Vitamin C -- in treating patients with Hashimoto's.
Since 2013, Doyle noted there were only two instances where patients experienced an increase in antibody count after using high dose iodine. However, both cases showed issues with oxalates. Once the oxalates issue was addressed, iodine was tolerated positively by those individuals.
According to Doyle, there is strong scientific evidence and clinical experience for iodine use when paired with selenium for Hashimoto's treatment. He explains iodine is safe, beneficial and often necessary to rebalance the thyroid function in Hashimoto’s.(3)
As you can see, there is more to the story when it comes to iodine therapy and Hashimoto's treatment. So before you pass up this vital nutrient find a medical practitioner who understands the use of iodine and selenium for Hashimoto's patients.
Always consult a doctor who is familiar with iodine therapy.
1. Chen X et al (2007). Effect of excessive iodine on immune function of lymphocytes and intervention with selenium. J Huazhong Univ Sci Technolog Med Sci. Aug;27(4):422-5.